“A native Missourian, James Wilson attended Missouri University before graduating with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. While in Kansas City, he was awarded a Full Fellowship to The Yale University Summer School of Music and Art. He served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam Era, after which he spent a summer in Wilberforce, Ohio in a “Black Studies” program. James received a Teaching Fellowship to the Graduate Program at Boston University where he later received an MFA Degree in Graduate Painting. While there, he received the President’s Drawing Award and was voted by the faculty as the Outstanding Graduate Painter for two consecutive years.
While in Graduate School, James helped start the Bowery Gallery in New York City, where he also exhibited for several years. Allen Frumkin selected James to exhibit in a portrait show in his gallery. James also had one-man exhibitions in the Aaron Berman Gallery and was in many reviewed group exhibitions in such renowned galleries as the Phyllis Kind Gallery, The Blue Mountain Gallery, and the Munson Center for Creative Arts. He has had reviews in The New York Times, Arts Magazine, The Philidelphia Inquirer, among others. He also helped start The Artist’s Choice Museum and curated the largest exhibition of living figurative artists – 156 artists in eleven galleries.
In 1990, James took a six month vacation to Alamos, Mexico. In Mexico, his work moved from the explosive competitiveness of New York Art to paintings that were involved with an intimate love of the human condition. James stayed in Mexico for ten years, married, and now has two children. In 2000, James and his wife moved to Missouri to educate their children in a first world nation. .
James is currently exhibiting works at Kodner Gallery and Componere Gallery, both in St. Louis; the Max Gallery in Tucson, Arizona; and theTerra Cotta Gallery in Alamos, Mexico. He is constantly producing new work and always seeking more representation.
James says ‘(My Children) and Wife are my life. Other than that I read and paint.’